• Police Helicopter

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    Official Brickset review

    Written by (AFOL , gold-rated reviewer) in United Kingdom,

    4473 Police HelicopterThis new airline-special set has been in the news a lot recently, and has recently become available from the British Airways High Life shop for £16.

    I received mine this week, just days after placing the order. I thought it'd be worth doing a quick review so that those of you who may have more difficulty getting hold of it can judge whether it's worthwhile doing so.

    Before taking a look at this set, it's worth remembering that the last police helicopter of this size, 7741, came out in 2008 and is still being sold from shop.LEGO.com, some 5 years after its introduction. Clearly there's demand for such a model. I wonder why, then, LEGO made this one an airline-special given its likely popularity.

    Box and contents

    The first thing you notice about airline specials is that they come in small boxes because, of course, space is at a premium in aircraft and their duty-free trollies. As you can see below the sets 112 parts are packed in tightly and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that they are packed by hand due to the need to fold the bags.

    4473 Police Helicopter

    There's three unnumbered bags, one sticker sheet and an instruction book all packed into the small box.

    4473 Police Helicopter

    Minifigs

    The set contains two police pilots which are adorned with 'Forest police' unifoms. The one on the left is, apparently, unique, although his head is fairly common.

    4473 Police Helicopter

    The helicopter

    The helicopter is a reasonable design but an unchallenging build. The use of 6-wide wheel arches above the side doors is effective.

    4473 Police Helicopter

    There's one wierd thing about it that I don't like at all, though. The winch is operated by spinning the rotors. That means you can't given them a good push prior to swooshing it because the string either reaches its limit, causing the rotors to 'stall', or the hook is lowered and the string gets in the way. A bit of a strange design decision, but I suppose it keeps it simple.

    4473 Police Helicopter

    The stickers haven't been applied but it's still unmistakable as a police helicopter due to the livery.

    4473 Police Helicopter

    Overall opinion

    Although it's one of the least appealing airline specials of recent years, it's not a bad model. It would certainly keep a child occupied for an hour or two on a long haul flight which is, of course, what they are designed for.

    Unless you're a collector of airline specials, there's no compelling reason to go out of your way to track it down or pay a ridiculous sum for it. But, if you see it in the brochure whilst on-board a plane, snap it up!

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